Karl Urban Says First “Dredd” Not A Failure

Since its release to strong reviews but poor box-office, talk of a sequel to 2012’s “Dredd” has popped up on occasion with the film’s core fanbase keen to latch on to any hint of it going forward.

The film’s star Karl Urban has spoken very briefly about the possibility in the past month or so with comments that there’s interest and even discussions regarding some sort of follow-up – be it another movie or an event series – to premiere on a streaming service.

This week, Urban has finally spoken at length about the possibility with Den of Geek, acknowledging that though the first film was a financial dud, he doesn’t think it’s a failure like the film’s screenwriter Alex Garland (“Ex Machina”) did:

“Alex Garland has gone on record to say that Dredd was a failure. I disagree. The movie itself was not a failure, in fact it was a critical success, it just failed to perform at the box office. How does a movie with a 78% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes fail? Through zero audience awareness. Nobody knew the movie was being released.

Dredd represents a failure in marketing, not filmmaking. Dredd sold 750,000 units, in North America, the first week it went on on DVD, which earned it a lot of money and the number one slot. Proof that the audience, once they became aware, wanted to see it.”

Urban also discussed the possibility of a sequel, admitting that he found making the first film very rewarding and would be onboard for a follow-up despite it not being an easy sell:

“The unfortunate theatrical release of Dredd and the manner in which it was mishandled made it problematic for Dredd 2 to be immediately funded and produced in the same fashion. But the success it has achieved in all post-theatrical mediums has definitely strengthened the argument in favour of a sequel.

But it’s not an easy sell. I’m constantly blown away by the fan support and love for Dredd. I get stopped and asked about Dredd most days, I find it strangely ironic that to get recognised and associated with a character whose face is largely obscured behind a helmet.”

Urban once again has openly encouraged fan campaigns for another installment, especially in the wake of the recent success of “Deadpool” which has demonstrated a clear audience demand for R-rated comic book movies.